Indonesia denounces Dutch lawmakers' film critical of Islam
Islamic community leaders and Indonesian politicians on Friday condemned a film by a Dutch lawmaker that is critical of Islam, saying it was misleading and would hurt interfaith dialogue.28 March 2008
JAKARTA - Islamic community leaders and Indonesian politicians on Friday condemned a film by a Dutch lawmaker that is critical of Islam, saying it was misleading and would hurt interfaith dialogue.
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Kristiarto Legowo said the contents of the film were "misleading and full of racism" and called the production of the film an "irresponsible action done under the blanket of freedom of the press."
House of Representatives Speaker Agung Laksono said the government must "take action" against the film because internet users could easily download it and distribute it and it could trigger religious conflict.
Anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders released the film over the internet late Thursday after publicising its release for months.
The Dutch government had warned Wilders that the film could spark a violent backlash in the Islamic world similar to the one that occurred two years ago after the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The 15-minute film intersperses verses from the Koran interpreted as calling on Muslims to attack and destroy enemies of the faith with bloody scenes of recent terrorist attacks and hateful speeches by extremists.
"We strongly oppose the film, which is clearly an insult and discredits Islam," said Dien Syamsuddin, chairman of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second-largest Islamic organization.
Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation with nearly 88 percent of its 225 million people adhering to Islam.
The country in the late 1990s and early this decade was wracked by conflicts between Muslims and Christians, particularly in the country's eastern regions, claiming the lives of more than 7,000 people.
[Copyright dpa 2008]